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Interview: Melanie Jane

Melanie Jane

How long have you been photographing?

“Since the age of 10 when I got my first camera (a Kodak) under the Christmas tree.  My dad was a hobbyist photographer and I found his fancy Canon camera and gear fascinating and mysterious.”

What inspired you to get into photography?

“Fashion photography in the early ’90s in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar magazine, works by Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindberg really stood out to me at that time and inspired my imagination.”

Describe your photography in three words.

“Bright, stylized, detailed”

What is your favorite lens?

“Canon L-series 70-200mm.”

What is your favorite camera?

“So far the Canon 5D Mark II.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“1930s through 1960s pin-up art, other fashion photographers, my friends who are artists, my subjects, film, music, the world around me.”

Could you describe the process or idea behind your favorite picture that was in one of our shows?(above)

“This piece is called “some kind of mushroom”.  It was originally created for an art show in June 2010, which was a group art show with a Wonderland and Fairy Tale theme.  I created a series of three characters for it which all inhabited the woods.  This one shows a dark Alice.  I worked with Madi Hamilton, a young model I had photographed before who I knew would be perfect in the role.  I scouted out a spot in the Endowment Lands for the shoot and shot on a drizzly gray day in late May; I created the costume with a couple of dresses found at Value Village, a gorgeous crinoline provided by The House Gallery Boutique, and some help from styling assistant Stephanie Fortin.  As an artist, I find nothing more satisfying than bringing an idea from my mind to life!  Kat Sainsbury provided makeup and hair and at my request drew veins on the model and gave her very tangled, matted hair; I gave her one very inhuman eye in post.  I wanted to make each of the characters recognizable, but a twisted version of the classic character.  I added the mushrooms in post, and this wonderful dead tree stump with a hollow underneath where she sat made her seem disproportionately small next to the tree, which worked perfectly.  I wanted it to feel like she had been spat out from Wonderland…  There is actually a very large tarp strategically positioned underneath her to protect the crinoline and keep her dry.  This shot was captured with the Canon 5D Mark II, available light and a couple of strobes.  The title of the piece comes from the famous Jefferson Airplane song (White Rabbit).”

Melanie  is also a “Young Blood Winner” in Aplied Arts Magazine.

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